To be fair, I should qualify this review by saying that I'm progressive, a political science professor, anti-war, and a Bush opponent. So I was hardly watching this film with an objective eye. That being said (and if you can still trust my review), Michael Moore has done American voters a big service by making this film. It's not without it weaknesses, namely the voice-overs where Moore speculates on Bush's thoughts during those endless blank stares. But for once, Moore has made a film that is woven together with a chronological and thematic logic that ultimately asks one critical question: Is it that the Powers that Be don't understand, or that they simply don't believe in, true democratic principles? While George W. Bush is the primary subject of the film's critiques, the Democrats are not left unscathed. In fact, the first 10 minutes are devoted to a skewering of the Democratically-controlled Senate (including, ironically, former V.P., Senate President, and Presidential contender Al Gore.) Moore's commentary here, as with his past films, revolves around the relationship between money and power, and how that connection degrades democracy and in its most insidious form, leads to the loss of innocent lives. While he holds the Bush family and key administration officials most directly accountable, Moore does not let anyone off the hook. This includes not just the usual suspects (Saudi Arabia), but the Democratic leadership, the Supreme Court, the media, and finally, the American voters. Nothing here is new to anyone who has spent any time perusing the alternative or progressive media in the past four years, but the effect is substantial because Moore has finally shown himself to be a true documentarian, and has woven together a coherent picture of the connections between the players and the events from December 2000 to the present. Setting aside the few moments of Moore's own commentary and some silly interjections of old westerns, the message ultimately relies on the presentation of documents, images, and interviews. The facts are so tight that the worst anyone can say about the veracity of the film is that it is biased, a critique that will carry far less weight when compared to the snippets of Fox news propaganda spliced into the movie. Moore will be called anti-American, unpatriotic, and probably a fascist. This, of course, is the last resort of a regime and its supporters who have no credible challenge to the facts of the film, only to its message. Ultimately, all audiences, regardless of their political proclivities, should be able to see that Moore is anything but anti-American or anti-democratic. The single biggest piece of the film is devoted to following around the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq. She is a patriot and a "true American", by any definition. Her son, and the thousands like him, are honored by Moore. They are portrayed as heroes, but also as victims. They are protectors of American security, but also pawns in a global struggle for power. By finally asking the right questions (4 years too late??), Moore has shown himself to be not just a solid filmmaker, but a patriot and a defender of the most sacred American liberty- free expression.
Documentary / Drama / War
Documentary / Drama / War
Michael Moore's view on what happened to the United States after September 11; and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
August 12, 2020